In our connected world, data is all around us. We generate data, we use data and we store data at an ever-increasing rate. This comes at a price: The data storage industry could soon account for 20% of global energy usage while creating more CO2 than the aviation industry. But what if the storage of data could actually remove CO2 from the atmosphere? In their interactive installation Data Garden, designers and artists Cyrus Clarke and Monika Seyfried propose an organism-based data center. It utilizes DNA technology to store and retrieve digital data from the DNA of plants, which in return create energy and absorb CO2. At Falling Walls, Seyfried and Clarke discuss how DNA can be used to store data for thousands of years. They also share insights from their project “Grow your Own Cloud” which has demonstrated the viability of the concept and which represents an environmentally sustainable path to satisfying our data storage needs while also addressing the climate crisis.

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